The longtime Fife barbecue restaurant Warthog Barbeque Pit is about to sprout a sibling restaurant. Expect to find the restaurant’s signature brisket, ribs, chicken and chili this summer in a larger location that will be a second outpost for Warthog.
Work is underway now at the Warthog building in Parkland, on Pacific Avenue near Pacific Lutheran University. Owner Gary Kurashima, a Tacoma native, said the building that formerly housed the Wagon Wheel was stripped to the studs and is in the process of being rebuilt.
Parkland’s Warthog location will double as a catering outfit.
The Parkland restaurant building is larger than the original Fife location, which is in the middle of an industrial neighborhood just off I-5. The Fife location started small, but has been built into something of a small campus over the years. The property includes a small restaurant modeled to look like a cabin, an alfresco deck area with a number of picnic tables for warm-weather dining and an adjacent two-story dining building.
The original Warthog location in Fife stays put, said Kurashima. That restaurant opened in 1999 and became a regional staple for its slow-and-low barbecued meats. In Warthog’s early years, Kurashima hyper focused on a dozen menu items, but over the years has expanded the menu to include prime rib, burgers, chili, gumbo and housemade pie. Last May, I gave Warthog’s ribs a nod for the permeating smoke flavor.
Kurashima’s smoking techniques were learned while working at BBQ Pete’s, a restaurant that used to be off 72nd in Tacoma (it later became Honey Bee, before that restaurant closed, too). He also worked at H.D. Hotspurs, a Kent fixture for more than 30 years until its closure in 2012.
Expect a menu change up at the Parkland location, said Kurashima by phone. He expects the restaurant to carry 80 percent of the Fife location’s menu, with 20 percent new menu additions. He’ll also expand to take-out catering with ready-to-go packs meant to be heated and eaten.
Warthog Barbeque Pit
Fife: 4921 20th St. E., Fife; 253-896-5091, warthogbbq.com
Parkland: 11811 Pacific Ave., Parkland